Gravestone defaced with anti-Semitic spraypaint 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Vandals attacked a Jewish cemetery in the Polish town of Wysokie Mazowieckie
over the weekend, spray-painting swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on
tombstones and defacing a memorial to local Jews who were murdered in the
The incident took place on Sunday night, approximately 145
kilometers northeast of Warsaw, and is was the latest in a series of
anti-Semitic episodes in the area.
Monika Krawczyk, who heads the
Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ), which
oversees Jewish sites throughout the country, said the evidence points to Polish
neo-Nazis as being responsible.
On one of the headstones that was
defaced, she noted, the vandals had scrawled the words “Here is Poland – not
Israel,” which is a popular slogan among Polish neo-Nazi groups.
particularly sad that this attack was committed against the dead, who cannot
defend themselves,” Krawczyk told The Jerusalem Post
. “And we are shocked to
learn that it occurred in a town where for a long time we have been holding a
positive Polish-Jewish dialogue with the local authorities and
“We think we managed to build a bridge for mutual
understanding, which the perpetrators of this attack are now attempting to
shatter,” she insisted, adding that, “we hope that the police will find them and
they will be brought to trial and justice.”
At the initiative of attorney
Michael Traison, the cemetery was renovated by FODZ in 2006. Since then, the
foundation has brought local Polish youths to visit and maintain the cemetery as
part of an effort to educate Poland’s next generation about the country’s former
On the eve of the Holocaust, there were 2,500 Jews in
Wysokie Mazowieckie, who constituted 55 percent of the town’s population. In
August 1941, the Germans established a local ghetto, which was later liquidated
on November 2, 1942. Nearly all of Wysokie Mazowieckie’s Jews were murdered in
Treblinka and Auschwitz.